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HTC unveils Vive Cosmos stand-alone VR headset, designed for ease of use

More comfortable to be sure, but it can also be powered by your phone

HTC via Twitter

After it unveiled a new business-class virtual reality headset, HTC also revealed first details on its new consumer model. Called the HTC Vive Cosmos, the stand-alone device was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, and appears to be HTC’s answer to the Oculus Quest stand-alone headset.

Perhaps the biggest impediment to consumer adoption of VR headsets is the stuff you need to attach to them, namely a beefy gaming PC or a PlayStation 4. That’s what makes stand-alone VR headsets so compelling.

HTC says the Cosmos is designed with “absolute comfort, and ease of set-up and use,” meaning it appears to be easy to set up, break down, and take on the go. It will also be the first device to use HTC’s new Vive Reality System which will “[encompass] the total user experience from the moment a headset is put on to how content is interacted with.”

“The tools and environments that make up Vive Reality System aim to make spatial computing accessible to everyone, wherever their journey into immersive worlds takes them,” said Drew Bamford, vice president, Creative Labs at HTC Vive. “We want VR to feel less like launching apps and instead like stepping between worlds.”

The Cosmos has potential; it’s a hybrid device, one that can work with either your PC or your mobile phone. Better still, it uses so-called “inside out tracking” technology. That means consumers won’t need to mount and calibrate external sensors in their homes to make it work.

The fit and finish of the thing, which includes the hat-style headband and a flip up visor, are just the icing on the cake.

No release window or pricing was mentioned during the presentation, but developer HTC said that developer kits will be shipped this year. The international press is expected to have some hands-on time with an early prototype, or at least a mock up of a prototype, during CES. Expect more information as the week goes on.

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